On October 20, alumnae, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends came together for 24 hours during Giving Day 2021 in support of the next generation of extraordinary Barnard women. Barnard has always been known for its ability to punch above its weight, but the exceptional teamwork and camaraderie displayed by the global College community this year was palpable — and the results speak for themselves.

With the ambitious goal of securing $2 million to support students, Barnard rose to the challenge, donating $2,254,976 — a 22.8% increase from 2020 — and counting, from 3,379 gifts.

Among many Giving Day accomplishments, the Barnard community finished in 2nd place in alumnae/i participation, ranked 3rd in the top tier of programs — ahead of powerhouses Columbia Engineering, Columbia Business School, and Columbia Law School, and won two hourly challenges: the Random Friend/Parent Gift Challenge Hour and the G.O.L.D. (graduates of the last decade) Challenge Hour. 

These Columbia Giving Day competitions helped the Barnard community secure at least an additional $18,000 in challenge funds from Columbia Trustees that will be added to the amount donated by the community, with more challenges still to be tallied.

Two Barnard-only challenges inspired widespread participation this year as well. The Barnard Board of Trustees challenged the Barnard community to raise $1.4 million for Giving Day, a challenge that was met with time to spare.

In addition, members of the young alumnae classes challenged their peers to beat the number of gifts they made for Giving Day last year (622) to receive a few special shoutouts for their collective generosity. Results are still being calculated, but the status of this challenge is expected to be released soon.

Full Giving Day 2021 results are available here.

In addition to making gifts throughout the day, the Barnard community shared their memories, photos, and love for the College on social media.

“Barnard gave me so much in four short years — best friendships, opportunities to see the world, and the confidence to go boldly into my life beyond the College,” reflects Cinneah El-Amin ’16, chair of the Young Alumnae Committee of the Alumnae Association of Barnard College (AABC). “Now, as an alumna, I’m grateful to give what I can because I want current students to have incredible experiences like I had.”

“I give on Giving Day because all alumnae participation matters — at any amount!" said Alumnae Trustee and AABC President Amy Veltman ’89. This sentiment was shared by many throughout the day, including Daphne Fodor Philipson ’69, who lovingly observed that “Barnard never stops giving back to me.”

Contributions to the Barnard Annual Fund made on Giving Day, and always, directly impact students by funding immediate priorities across campus, as well as underwriting financial aid, emergency relief for students experiencing unexpected life events, and vital programs such as Access Barnard. Gifts of all sizes help sustain the Barnard experience for students, allowing the College to continue providing a singular, accessible education.

A special category of the Barnard Annual Fund unique to the Barnard Year of Science was available to donate to on Giving Day, helping to cover costs associated with laboratory equipment and maintenance; curricular innovations; faculty research and travel; student research opportunities; and initiatives that promote diversity in the sciences.

Sally Vallimarescu, executive director of individual giving at Barnard, felt the competitive energy this year. “We had big expectations after a very successful Giving Day in 2020, and I’m blown away by how we were able to surpass our ambitious estimates,” she said. “Gifts to the Annual Fund are always important, but days like this show the extent of our impact.”

Giving Day is not just about the community coming together and sharing our love for Barnard; it's also about rising to the challenge when it matters. This year, the College showed up ready to compete, and won.